The Royal Australian Mint, the National Mint, has released a new $1 collector coin commemorating the action, a hundred years ago, that resulted in the awarding of Australia's first Victoria Cross (VC). The VC is the highest military award available to members of the Commonwealth military forces. This $1 legal tender aluminium bronze coin, which will not go into general circulation, is a tribute to some of Australia's bravest military personnel.
The Royal Australian Mint is acknowledging those Australians who have made great sacrifices for our young nation, helping Australia to define its character and to uphold its values. With the name of every Australian VC recipient printed on the presentation package housing the coin, this $1 VC coin makes it possible for us to remember those who served with such valour.
Instituted by Queen Victoria in 1856, the VC is granted to members of Commonwealth military forces for gallantry in the presence of the enemy. Originally only granted to British military personnel, members of colonial military forces became eligible from 1867.
Ninety-six Australians have been awarded the VC since it was instituted in Australia. Captain Neville Howse is considered the first Australian VC recipient, and the only medic, for his brave actions on 24 July 1900, in saving a comrade in the face of enemy fire during the Boer War.
Captain Neville Howse's name and the date of his action are struck on either side of this $1 coin, next to the image of a Victoria Cross medal. The coin was designed by Royal Australian Mint designer Wojciech Pietranik (designer of the Olympic Victory Medals for the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games).
The $1 Victoria Cross Coin Pack comes in a very attractive outer sleeve, making it a thoughtful memento of those Australians who have served our great country.